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Boy, 12, dies after alleged bullying incident

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 12:51 a.m. HST, Mar 05, 2013

GLENOLDEN, Pa. >>  A sixth-grader who was injured in an altercation with another boy at school two months ago was taken off life support and died, and his suburban school district made extra counselors available to fellow students Monday.

Bailey O'Neill, who had just turned 12, died Sunday morning, family members said.

He had suffered a concussion, a broken nose and other injuries during the encounter with the boy at Darby Township School, in suburban Philadelphia, on Jan. 10. He later began having seizures, and doctors induced a coma.

Bailey told his mother, Jina Risoldi, that he had been at recess when the boy, who was taller, challenged him to a fight.

Risoldi said last month that her son declined to fight, saying he was worried about being suspended. She said a boy then pushed him from behind and he was struck in the head about five times.

"This is not a fight between two boys," she said. "My son didn't fight back."

Risoldi said school security and a teacher rushed in to break it up.

Bailey spent the rest of the day at school, but over the following days he complained of severe headaches and dizziness, began sleeping a lot and became irritable and confused, his mother said.

"He had no problems before the fight," Risoldi said last month. "He was always extremely healthy, rarely got sick."

Bailey was an honor roll student who served on the student council, and he enjoyed baseball and swimming.

His mother said the other boy had challenged him to a fight earlier that week, and she had questions about whether the school did enough to prevent the encounter.

She said school officials were aware the boy had a history of bullying other children. She said the boy was suspended and subsequently returned to class.

On Monday, District Attorney Jack Whelan told the Delaware County Daily Times that he was waiting for autopsy results and re-interviewing witnesses but considered charges to be likely.

Last month, police Deputy Chief Brian Patterson told the newspaper what happened between Bailey and the other boy was a "one-on-one altercation" and was captured on video surveillance. A man who answered the phone late Monday at the Darby Township Police Department said officers could be contacted on Tuesday for comment.

Southeast Delco School District Superintendent Stephen D. Butz expressed condolences to Bailey's friends and family.

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primo1 wrote:
The term "bullying" no longer applies - this is manslaughter.
on March 4,2013 | 02:22PM
false wrote:
Pushed from the back and struck on the head not wanting to fight back does't sound like a one on one altercation. This was pure brutality. The kid died for gosh sake.
on March 4,2013 | 02:47PM
Allenk wrote:
Bully's reveal themselves as cowards as evidenced by the attack. He should not be allowed to return to school to terrorize others.
on March 4,2013 | 06:40PM
olos73 wrote:
Kids nowadays are mean. The "bully" needs to be punished. He has a history of bullying, let him learn while locked up. I know a lot of people will defend the "bully" and say he just needs help. No way. He took a life. Does he think it's funny now? Who is he going to bully now? Try "act big" now. I bet he's crying to mommy and daddy. TOO BAD. My ALOHA to Bailey's ohana.
on March 4,2013 | 02:56PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
That's probably the number one reason public schools have a bad rap. Can't get rid of punks, that spoil it for everyone else. If they were to try, too many (all it takes is one loud one) bleeding hearts will say everyone is entitled to an education. Thus they get put back in the school that they wreak havoc on.
on March 4,2013 | 03:08PM
Anonymous wrote:
Im waiting for ALLIE to leave a stupid comment to irritate everyone
on March 4,2013 | 03:24PM
akuboatcaptain wrote:
on March 5,2013 | 11:15AM
Leinanij wrote:
Yikes hon!
on March 5,2013 | 01:47PM
niimi wrote:
The charter for most public school districts are that they cannot turn any student away. Bullying is now handled by schools and parents have to stay out of it. What happened to the days when Dad went over to the bully's home and confronted bully's Dad about the matter? Oh, probably now the bully's Dad would call the cops have the picked on boy's Dad arrested for threatening him.
on March 4,2013 | 03:30PM
niimi wrote:
The world is upside down when the bully gets away and the victim dies.
on March 4,2013 | 03:30PM
cojef wrote:
Sometime we need to look deeper into the issues relating to bullying. For example, why and how, this child became a bully. Is this child's home life a wholesome enviroment where the child receive love and care from both parents? Who are the parents? Does the child come from a single parent home? What are the warning signs teachers should be on the watch for in determing whether there is a problem child in the class. And what can be done to segregate this child for specialized coaching to reverse this behavior. Wondering if any study ever has been conducted and if yes, what are the findings.
on March 4,2013 | 03:43PM
sanababeets wrote:
I agree. This is why as responsible parents, we need to be aware of what goes on in our childrens day at school. When they are bullied, they are not always quick to tell you. Ask them!! A simple, "How was your day at school?" just might open them up even just a little bit. My daughter deals with bullying and this is my worst fear. The schools have Rachels Challenge and anti-bullying campaigns but it's not enough. You know what the counselor tells me when I tell her about it? "oh, we can talk to the other girl and thats it" How in the world does that protect my daughter from possible retaliation? How does that teach that bully ANYTHING?! WHY wouldn't they contact that bully's parents and let them know that this is going on? That fear of retaliation is why kids won't speak up and tell someone. I'm just glad my kids do and my kids know I will fight for them. By the way, this is the same school where the boy got into an "altercation" and hit his head on a metal railing and had to go to the emergency room because he his his head. Why don't they DO something more? Is that what zero tolerance means today? You just "talk" to the kid? How does that enforce anti-bullying?
on March 5,2013 | 01:12PM
kainalu wrote:
That's why I love those youtube videos where a bully gets bashed. Most recent one I seen was between 2 girls. One sitting down while approached and challenged by another. The challenger eventually pushed the girl sitting down, who then got up, took the challenger to the ground by the hair, straddle her, and beat the tar out of her until adults came and stopped it.
on March 4,2013 | 03:51PM
markat wrote:
Tragically sad.
on March 4,2013 | 04:39PM
40black wrote:
eye for an eye should apply.
on March 4,2013 | 07:50PM
akuboatcaptain wrote:
i have a problem with bullies, i try to control myself but everytime i see a bully taking advantage of someone I intervene, the last time i almost got arrested. the pushed me first so he got tossed around like a rag doll, i wish this punk would've pushed me from the back.
on March 5,2013 | 11:17AM
sanababeets wrote:
Why push you from the back? And thanks for standing up for the victim.
on March 5,2013 | 01:13PM
Leinanij wrote:
Your arrest would have been a badge of honor. Helping people who are victims of bullies is not a crime in my book - it makes you a hero. Mahalo captain.
on March 5,2013 | 01:50PM
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